Inside the Waistband, or ‘IWB’ holsters can be comfortable, but like any great pair of shoes, you’ve got to have the right fit. And like shoes, there are no shortage of options out there. You might be surprised to learn that your holster isn’t the only thing to consider when ensuring a comfortable carry.
With more than 18 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States today, we’d venture to say there are nearly as many opinions when it comes to how to carry your firearm.
There are many factors when deciding how best to conceal carry your firearm - like your body type, your day-to-day activities, your clothing, and even how much time you spend driving a car or a truck should be considered. To help you get up to speed, we’ll cover a few of these topics and discuss a bit about some of the terminology you might hear or read.
The Right Pant Size For Comfortable IWB Carry
You’ve heard the phrase ‘too big for your britches’ right? Well sometimes a holster can be too big for yours too. If you like wearing tighter fitting clothes, you might find that having a IWB holster jammed between you and your favorite pair of jeans is less than desirable.
Consider going up a size or two in waist size on your next shopping trip. So, if you normally wear a 32 waist in your favorite pair of jeans, try a 33 or 34. This will help keep you comfortable and avoid ‘printing’ when you carry.
Is Kydex a Comfortable Material For Holsters?
Leather and Kydex are just a couple of the options available. Kydex is very popular due to the ability to have a thin profile and a custom secure fit for your gun. You can also choose different types of IWB holster styles. Some larger with two clips and some smaller with a single clip. These are made with the positioning and comfort in mind based on your preference. Vedder Holsters carries a great variety of holster options.
Which Holster Position is Most Comfortable?
While every user is different, some common carry positions are: 3’o-clock (on your hip), 4-5’o-clock (just behind your hip) or even the appendix (the front). You’ll want to try out different positions to see which is best for you. Remember, it may take a day or two to determine the position that you like so you don’t become discouraged.
Does Wearing a Gun Belt Make IWB Carry More Comfortable?
You should think of your holster as part of an overall concealed carry system. Another important part of that system is your belt. Using your favorite well-worn dad belt will prove to be less than ideal allowing your gun to sag. Consider a belt that is actually designed to carry your holster. This will ensure your holster stays comfortable and secure where it is supposed to be.
And don’t worry, there are many options from tactical web styles to solid core leather that would work with your Sunday best suit. Check out our award winning gun belts to learn more.
More Adjustability Means More Comfort With IWB?
Ride height refers to how high or low the holster sits on the waistband. Look for a holster that allows you to adjust the ride height. This will help you find your preferred position to draw and holster your sidearm. In addition to ride height, look for a holster that has an adjustable Cant. You can think of this like tilting the pistol grip forward or backward.
This feature goes back to your ability to draw and holster safely while also maintaining overall comfort. It will also have an effect on your comfort level when sitting down. The Vedder LightTuckTM IWB features both an adjustable -300 to +300 Cant and an adjustable ride height.
Choosing the Right Gun For Comfortable IWB Carry
As with holsters, there are many options which can help improve your degree of comfort when carrying. Depending on your body type, large or small, there are a variety of firearms on the market made specifically for concealed carry. We have also found that having a comfortable holster helps put your mind at ease with the knowledge your gun is secure and easily accessible if the need arises. Perhaps even more important is that the right fitting IWB holster properly conceals the fact you are even carrying.
How Long Should You Try Each IWB Setup?
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when it comes to the comfort of IWB holsters. We know from experience that finding the right holster can be as personal as finding the right firearm or shoes. Just remember that even when you make that informed choice, it might take some time to get used to carrying IWB as well as drawing and firing. We recommend that you carry in one position for a few days and then try another until you find the best spot for your day to day activities.
Remember to choose the right pant size, a gun that best fits your frame and a holster that allows for adjustments to ride-height and cant. Also consider your holster as part of your CCW system and consider a proper gun belt to keep your holster safely in place. Try driving with your holster in different positions to find the best position for you.
You’ve probably heard some naysayers say a IWB holster isn’t right for them because it isn’t comfortable. That might be so for them but we’ve learned that when you keep the aforementioned factors in mind when choosing your holster, comfort levels increase significantly.
IWB’s are an excellent choice when opting to carry and if you’d like more information on the holster that is best suited for you, we highly recommend visiting our gun holsters page. American made, stellar customer service and a wide variety of not only IWB holsters, but accessories, apparel and more.